Watson to confirm AFL return

Essendon star Jobe Watson will return to the AFL, if that’s okay with his pet dog.

Watson’s humorous tweet on Thursday night ended weeks of speculation about his future.

He is set to front the media at 9am on Friday to confirm the news.

Watson posted a photo of his dog and a pair of football boots on Twitter, with the comment “He (sic) mate, I’m going to need to borrow these back off you”.

The Essendon onballer’s doping ban ended this week, a few days after he returned from overseas.

Watson’s suspension ended a week after his teammates because he had played in last year’s international rules series.

Also this week, Bombers coach John Worsfold said the club needed to know within a fortnight whether Watson would keep playing.

Watson clearly has kept himself fit during his time overseas and it was widely assumed that he would keep playing.

But he is the last of the 17 current and former Essendon players still on AFL lists to confirm his intentions.

They are among the 34 players at Essendon in 2012 who were banned because of the club’s supplements debable.

Of the 12 still at Essendon this year, only Michael Hibberd and Tayte Pears are not staying.

Hibberd wants a trade to Melbourne and Pears is pursuing a career in fire fighting.

But the uncertainty is not over for Watson.

The 34 players have an ongoing appeal in the Swiss legal system against their doping suspensions.

That appeal has a slim chance of success and if it fails, the AFL Commission will go ahead with deciding whether Watson should keep his 2012 Brownlow Medal.

While Essendon remain adamant that Watson should keep the medal, the likelihood is that he will be stripped of the honour because of the doping ban.

It is understood that Watson will speak to the media at St Bernard’s College in Essendon, where the banned players have trained during their ban, and not the Bombers headquarters in Tullamarine.

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